Saturday, September 26, 2009

Niceness or Love?

Ephesians 4:31-32 “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. And be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

You know, it amazes me how as Christians we can be so nice to absolute strangers. We strive to let our light shine to all men—we work to be identified as believers by our “niceness” quotient. By golly we really know how to be pleasant and kind to shop clerks, business contacts, people we pass on the sidewalk—you name it; we’ve got the lock on kindness to strangers and being that bright “light”…Yep—we could be made of spun sugar!

But what about our own family?

Here I am talking about our spiritual family—the body of Christ.
We are so sure of the need to tell our brothers and sisters how things are and should be, no mater how harsh—after all, don’t they have to love us unconditionally? I can be rude to my family…because they are already saved; does it matter what I say to my family in Christ? I mean, God is in control anyway—He’ll fix it, won’t He?

But what does Jesus say? In John 13:34-35 Jesus says “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Sounds more like we have to love our own “family” first and then all men (the rest of the world) will know we are His disciples!

Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all thing, endures all things. Love never fails…” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Milk or Meat?

Hebrews 5:12 "For though by this this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food."

You know it is interesting that some very smart people who are wise to the scams out in the world(e.g. the phone calls trying to sell you something,Internet scams to get into your bank account,or to get your social security card number) can sit in a pew or chair on Sunday morning and blindly listen to what is being taught and never question it. People seem to have the idea that faith in God has to be a "blind" faith and never questioned. The same people who will look for every dotted "i" or crossed "t" in a contract or warranty wait for the "Man of God" to feed them their weekly dose of the Bible, and never read it themselves nor do they check to see if what they were told is even correct. During the sermon, do we even ask if what we are being taught equates to what we know of the nature of God? Or do we even know anything about the nature of God?

God said "'But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,'declares the Lord, 'I will put My law within them, and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. And they shall not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying know the Lord, for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them'..."

But instead, after the coming of the New Covenant with the shed blood of Jesus our Lord and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit...two thousand years later, we as a body are still wanting "milk". We want our scripture spoon fed to us, a little at a time. Is it any wonder that some of these "off the wall" off-shoot religions get started!

You know, even God says in his word "...Test me now in this..." and in another place "...taste and see..." and again referring to God, "His invisible attributes...have been clearly seen..." Now, do you even know if I am using these verses in the proper context? Do you even know where these verses are? Do you even care?

In this posting, the only verse I referenced was the opening verse. I challenge you to look up the verse referenced in this post. I am not asking for a response, but will you check? When you attend what ever service you attend this weekend...will you check the verses for yourself and see if they are used in context.

Please, don't just make a "blind" commitment to your faith; know why you believe.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Road Maps

John 14:26 “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

I was heading down to a new friend’s house a couple of weeks ago and so I just went to Yahoo maps and printed off a map of her neighborhood, thinking, “No problem, I can find this.” After five miles out of my way, and two consecutive wrong turns, I found her house…then upon leaving and trying to head for home, made a couple more “long-cuts” to get back to the highway.

Last week having to deliver dinner to a new, but home bound member of my church…I again looked up the address on Yahoo maps; but this time I requested step-by-step directions. Wow, what a difference; it was so easy, I didn’t make any wrong turns, and I found the apartment with out any problems. As I was contemplating this, I said; “ That was so easy! I didn’t get lost at all…what a breeze!”

Then it occurred to me…you know we all have a road map for life; and it is called the Bible. And with that “map” we can all get to were we need to be…but if we had step-by-step directions…some one to tell us which highway to turn on or remind us that up at this intersection we need to take a right; that would make the whole journey a joy, not a trial and struggle.

As Christians we have our own step-by-step directions; the Holy Spirit, who will lead us into all truth. In Isaiah 30:21 it is written, ”Whether you turn to the right or the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying ‘This is the way; walk in it’”

With the map for our lives, the Bible; we need specific direction and orientations that are just for us…because each of us are starting at a different point in our unique journeys in life; but we are all headed to the same destination. When we meditate and study the Word of God, it truly is “…a Lamp to my feet and a light for my path” (Psalm 119:105). So we will have a clear, and lighted path and directions to where we are headed.